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This albarello jar has a white glazed background. At the front of the container is a large oval cartouche with a cobalt blue and orange border. The back of the albarello has a floral motif. Yellow, green, and orange bands are at the neck and just above the base of the container. The interior of the cartouche has radiating lines and clusters of small dots in a triangular pattern. At the bottom of the cartouche is an orb with a cross resembling the alchemical symbol for powder. The letters P and B flank either side of the cross, they may have denoted several different medicines contained within the jar, identified the apothecary the jar belonged to, or served as the jar’s maker’s mark. When describing this container on page 65 of the The Squibb Ancient Pharmacy Catalogue, George Urdang felt the letters PB may refer to "Patres Benedictini" (Benedictine Fathers).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1500
attributed to
Italia: Toscana, Florence
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 24.3 cm x 12.2 cm; 9 9/16 in x 4 13/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
SAP 440
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
European Apothecary
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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